Germany takes equestrian gold performing to EU anthem but insists it's NOT snub to Team GB

GERMANY has stormed to equestrian gold at the Tokyo Olympics after performing a routine to the anthem of the European Union.

Tokyo 2020 round-up: Team GB’s Magic Monday with more medals

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Germany won the dressage team gold on Tuesday, with the USA winning the silver medal and Great Britain claiming bronze. The Olympic title was captured by world number one rider Isabell Werth, Jessica von Bredow-Werndl, who set an Olympic record, and Dorothee Schneider.

The trio continued Germany’s dominance of the event and it included a routine performed to “Ode to Joy”.

The Ninth Symphony composed in 1823 by Ludwig Van Beethoven was adopted as the anthem of the EU almost 40 years ago.

After winning gold, Werth said the choice of music was in no way meant as a snub to her competitors from Britain.

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German has won equestrian gold at Tokyo 2020 (Image: GETTY)

Germany equestrian

Isabell Werth, Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and Dorothee Schneider celebrate the victory (Image: GETTY)

The UK voted to leave the European Union in the 2016 EU referendum.

Team GB is also a fierce rival to Germany after winning a surprise gold medal in the event at the London 2012 games.

Nick Murray from CBC Olympics, Canada’s official Olympic broadcaster, wrote on Twitter: “We had some dressage drama today.

“One of the German riders rode to ‘Ode to Joy’ which is also the European Union’s anthem.

“The rider had to later explain to reporters (via Reuters) that the choice in music was not meant as a snub to her competitors from Great Britain.”

Germany equestrian

Germany performed to ‘Ode to Joy’ at the games (Image: GETTY)

In a thread on Twitter, Barney Ronay, chief sports writer at The Guardian, tweeted: “Verth now, for Germany. Sensational passage. Regal half-pass. She’s destroying this.

“And doing it to Ode To Joy – an edgy political statement perhaps, taunting the British team.”

The melody was written by German playwright Friedrich Schiller in the 18th century.

In 1972, the Council of Europe adopted Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” theme as its anthem.

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Team GB claimed a bronze medal in the event (Image: GETTY)

In 1985, it was then taken on by EU leaders as the official anthem of the European Union and it’s usually played at ceremonies involving the bloc.

The famous song has no words, but on its website the EU says it “expresses the European ideals of freedom, peace and solidarity”.

Germany has now won every Olympic dressage team gold since 1984, apart from in 2012.

Already the most decorated Olympian in her sport, Werth got her 11th medal competing on mare Bella Rose to “Ode to Joy”.


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Medals won by Team GB since 1996 (Image: EXPRESS)

Speaking after her ride, she said: “I am totally happy about Bella.

“I don’t know how she could have done better”.

Team GB was made up of Charlotte Dujardin, Charlotte Fry and Carl Hester took bronze.

Dujardin, who won individual dressage gold in 2016, will defend her title on Wednesday.

Unlike most sports at the Olympics, Equestrian has no gender-based categories and women and men compete on equal terms.

Roy Walsh

Roy Walsh

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